Posterior Labour

Isaac’s Birth Story – shared by his mum Nic.


It all begins back when I delivered my first beautiful son! I had an incredibly difficult labour with my eldest – 43 hours from start to finish, posterior (back to back) labour, got an epidural after 36 hours with little dilation, then he eventually turned himself around, and I was able to push him out relatively quickly. So when I found out I was pregnant this time around, I was NOT going to be having another posterior labour! I lived on , determined to get the correct fetal positioning. I rested right, I made sure I did all the right things… no more posterior babies for me!

At my 35 week appointment, I had to have a scan due to a low lying placenta. Well the news was all bad. Not only had my placenta barely moved, baby was lying TRANSVERSE!!!  So of course everyone started freaking out. I had to have a heap more appointments, I got myself off to acupuncture and the chiropractor, even got my pom poms out to cheer this baby into a head down position! A week later I had another appointment, and thank goodness – bubs was head down. However, with all the movement, baby was lying on my right hand side instead of my left. So I got busy trying to get bubs back onto my left. I only layed on my left side, I spent forever crawling around on hands and knees (my son thought it was great). By the time I was 37 weeks, I was relatively sure that baby was ready to go, from the left, and dammit I was going to have my anterior labour!

At 37 weeks and 1 day, I was utterly exhausted. Husband had had a bad nights sleep the night before and kept me awake most of the night. My son had been sick with croup for about 3 weeks so I was up twice a night to him. I went to bed around 10pm, fell straight asleep. I was soooooo tired. Got up around 1am to make my usual pee trip, and suddenly it wasn’t very usual! Liquid was running down my legs and when I got to the toilet there was huge amounts more just pouring out. I’m thinking “What the?”. I was only 37 weeks, and while I fully expected to go early, I had a busy week of preparing stuff for baby’s arrival planned! Nothing was ready – we didn’t have  a cot mattress for the new baby, my son isn’t out of the nursery, I haven’t washed the newborn clothes… crap crap crap!

I knew I had to call the hospital as I’d come back testing positive for group B strep, so I needed to have antibiotics during labour. So I woke husband up (who sat bolt upright going “Seriously? No!”) and we called the hospital. I wasn’t contracting, and bubs wasn’t bothered by it at all (read: still beating the crap out of mummy) so they were happy for us to take our time coming it. We called mother in law to come and look after my eldest, and got ourselves all organised. I got a couple of really mild contractions, and all I could think was “Oh good! At least I won’t have to be induced!”

Got into the hospital around 2:30am, and because of how low my placenta was, I had to go to the labour and delivery ward instead of birth centre. Got ourselves settled in, and I decided to try and get some sleep before anything started happening. Was getting a few contractions, but they were easy to breathe through and I tried to sleep in between. Got my antibiotics all administered too.

Around 4:30am, I had some panadeine forte to try and give me a bit of rest, and I went straight off to sleep. That was a problem. My contractions (which had been coming around 6-8 minutes apart) completely stopped. I got maybe 3 in the next hour! 6:30am (after I’d had a bit of sleep) we decided that we REALLY needed to get it happening so we went for a walk. Nuthing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Walked and walked and walked, and the ONLY time I’d get a contraction was when I sat down and stood up. Midwife even did an internal (I was 2cm which I was probably already from Sam’s delivery) and it did nothing too!

By 8am we decided that this was ridiculous, so it was decided the best thing to do was to put me on a drip and get the contractions actually established. My lovely midwife Jess had come onto shift by then (I’d had her partner earlier), so she sorted it all out, and assured me I was doing the right thing. As soon as I got onto the syntocinin, my contractions actually established! FINALLY! My body was working YAY! I was able to breathe through them easily to start with, but then I started getting back pain. No no no!!! This baby COULDN’T be posterior! It had started off so perfect! By the time my contractions were about 3 minutes apart, it was just unbearable. I ended up sitting on the toilet in tears about how crap this was! So while I was still lucid I decided bugger it. My only birth plan was to get an epidural if the pain was in my back again. And it was, so I wanted that epidural.

Jess went looking for an anethestist, but couldn’t find one and said it would be about 20 minutes. Suggested I try the gas. I thought, sure, why not. Not like it will hurt me. This was at around midday. Absolutely loved it and I was able to cope so much better! So we decided to forego the epidural. For about 40 minutes. Then the back pain was getting so much more, and I wanted out. I wanted pain relief. So Jess did a quick internal, and I was only 3cm. That made my decision. No way was I doing this for any longer. She went off to find the anesthetist again. A few contractions later, my best friend the anesthetist walks in. And baby (who had been beating me up constantly ALL pregnancy) decided now would be a good time to beat mummy up some more. AND just as all this happens, my contractions start coming REALLY close together. So I’m trying to listen to the anesthetist crap on about risks (yes, I KNOW. Just drug me already!) while dealing with these stupid contractions, AND having bubs really hurt me with the kicking of my rib cage.

Finally, got the epidural in. And working. Not working so much I wasn’t in any pain, I was still having to breathe through the contractions a teensy bit, but so much easier. Husband decided he’d use the time to go get some lunch. And Jess decided to use the time to go get her lunch too! While they were gone, I suddenly started to feel huge amounts of pressure in my backside. But I shut up about it, coz no way was I doing anything without my husband and my midwife! Jess gets back from her break, Husband gets back from lunch and I confessed to feeling this pressure for a while now. Jess did another internal… and I’d gotten to 9cm! In about an hour! I wanted to cheer, but unfortunately I was in too much pain. Then I started getting the shakes. Worst feeling ever. Oh the joy of transition. When the pain in my back and bum was just too much to bear, Jess did another internal, and told me I could start pushing! YAAAY! I’d gone from 3cm to fully dilated and ready to push in just under 2 hours! My epidural had all but worn off too – it was patient controlled and I’d totally forgotten to push the damn button.

So I started pushing. Now, I’d heard stories of people pushing their second babies out in just a couple of pushes. And I of course expected the same. Ha! Yeah, as if my body is going to behave! I’m sitting on the bed and pushing, and pushing, and barely doing anything. And I could feel that I was barely doing anything for about 20 minutes. I’m thinking this is ridiculous. So I changed my position to be squatting, while facing my mirror (LOVE having a mirror during this bit. Makes it so much more amazing). And immediately everything started working better. About 15 minutes after I changed position, I could actually see a head! And I hear “Uh oh, I think baby is posterior” come out of my midwife’s mouth! AARRRGGHHH!!! So not happy about that! But then about 5 pushes later our little bundle of joy (read: mess) slides out (facing all the wrong directions!) into my midwife’s capable hands.

Introducing Isaac ~  7pd 12oz or 3.5kg. Posterior labour, brow presentation.